THERE has been an outcry from people whose homes are at risk of demolition under proposals to remodel a Winchester council estate.

Some 49 properties in Stanmore could be knocked down under a scheme put forward by city council consultants.

Open space, allotments and garages could also be turned into 413 new homes over the next decade.

The local authority wrote to council tenants –although not owner occupiers -  to tell them their homes could be affected by the proposals.

But people only found out about the risk of demolition when they attended a consultation day at The Carroll Centre on March 26. Perhaps not surprisingly, feelings ran high.

A 49-year-old council tenant lives with his seriously-ill wife in one of four houses earmarked for demolition in Selborne Place.

The man, who asked not to be named, said: “I went to the exhibition to look at the drawings and saw these four houses were gone. It was a shock. It didn’t say in the letter that was what they were proposing.

“We don’t want to move. We are very happy here. My wife has been in hospital a lot and doesn’t need this stress.”

His wife, who needs a chair lift, said: “I don’t want to lose this house. It has been adapted for me. We only moved here four years ago. I can’t cope with the stress of moving again.”

The council says there is a desperate need for more affordable homes. Other proposals include revamped play areas, improved sports facilities and new footpaths.

A central suggestion is to move the Carroll Centre, the 8th Winchester Scout Hut and Stanmore Community Association hall to a modern leisure centre on the former New Queens Head site.
The idea is land vacated by the buildings could be developed for housing along with a slice of Somers Close recreation ground.A

lternatives proposals include extending the Carroll Centre and building homes or a shop on the former pub site.

Melissa Allen, whose home backs onto Somers Close recreation ground, said: “The only reason we bought our house was the outlook and the open play space.

“Each of the three options means new housing at the bottom of our garden and they are proposing to move the little kids’ play area to a dark and dingy corner of the field.”

Following the consultation day, some owner occupiers affected by the proposals received a letter from the council.

In the letter, Steve Tilbury, corporate director, wrote: “I want to reassure you that the council has absolutely no intention of going any further with proposals if they cannot be agreed with the people who own these properties.

“At this stage we are trying to find out which of the options for development might offer a way to make improvements for Stanmore.

“If the council decides that it would be sensible to look in more detail at a particular site then we would discuss this with all the householders who might be affected.”

The local authority plans to re-house council tenants if their homes are demolished and offer them financial compensation.

But it has no plans to go down the compulsory purchase route for private properties.

* There is to be a second consultation day at Stanmore Primary School on April 18, 2.30pm to 8pm.